The Price of Insomnia

The Price of Insomnia

Late at night, with sleep a fairy tale
that wouldn’t come true, I’d lie
on the couch staring at the tube.

Long before satellite and cable
connections, when streaming
meant getting your feet wet.

When an antenna on the roof
was the primary connection
to the outside world.

When programming ended
for the night and infomercials
were the only thing on the air.

I’d watch them hawk their wares
until I finally fell asleep to their voices
fading into the white noise of test patterns,

with visions of the highest-grade zirconium
or Teflon-clad pots with an ironclad guarantee,
the stuff that dreams are made of.

This is my response to Sarah’s prompt at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, Acting like animals! We’re asked to used the name of an animal as a verb.

Just a Memory ~ haibun

Just a Memory

We often treasure what is hardest to obtain, or retain. So it is for me with memories. They say that every time we remember something the details of that memory are altered. If only that were the case for me. Details are the first to go, so altering them is an entirely different matter. If I have to re-enter a room to remember why I entered it to begin with, what are the chances that I will remember specific details, whether from distant or recent past?

Consider a recent conversation I had with two people. I might recall part of the conversation, but I’m just as likely to credit a statement to the wrong person.

And a specific event? I might be able to visualize it, but there is no guarantee that I will remember anything other than a snapshot. It’s always been this way for me, compounded now in my later years. At least, that’s the way I remember it.

leaf falls and is gone
tree waits for return of spring
just a memory

This is my response to Haibun Monday 5-22-23: Memory,
the prompt from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

By the Stars ~ quadrille

By the Stars

No map exists for the course
that brought me to you. Yet,
with the stars as my guide,
there was but one path.
Once a heart knows the way,
it cannot be denied.
Mine would not stop
until it found its way to you.


This is my response to Quadrille #155 – Mapping out our poems, the prompt from De Jackson at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use a form of the word map in a Quadrille – a 44-word poem (excluding title), with no required meter or rhyme.

Image source:

More or Less About Time ~ palinode

More or Less About Time

blank, black disc
tells me nothing
until a quick tap
or flip of the wrist
brings it to life
shows its face
chosen by me
to emulate analog
in a digital world
the only gear here

appearance simple
yet detailed
time a primary concern
weather at a glance
health in numbers
pulse, steps
another tap
exercise calories
and another tap
phone texts for eyes
younger than mine
still adjusting to digital

 I’m closing out National/Global Poetry Writing Month by actually being on prompt for
Day Thirty at, where Maureen asks us to write a palinode
– a poem in which you retract a view or sentiment expressed in an earlier poem.
Compare this to Watching Time, a poem about my heirloom pocket watch
written for an April 2017 challenge.

Random Transformation

Random Transformation

cohesive thoughts tenuous,
the poet stares at an empty page.
One abortive attempt after another,
long past the hope for something
lyrical, he turns to a word generator.
Even when they’re given to him
they yield naught, yet his resolve
remains steady. Always wanting,
searching for the right words,
the best he can do is transform them
into a poem about writer’s block.


Writing a-poem-a-day National/Global Poetry Writing Month 2023 has been difficult for me. This is my fifth poem about writer’s block. I’ve used the Kerfe’s random words, chosen by Oracle 2, including 9 of the words.

Shared with Day Twenty-eight at (off prompt)

Moon and Sun, Together

Moon and Sun, Together

In our early days,
I was not your secret lover,
nor were you mine.
But when the moon, sun,
and stars seemed to revolve
around one person, some
wondered who could be
the center of my love poems.

Poetry connected us
when we had to be satisfied
with the distance that separated us
and all I wanted was to be in
or at the edge of your atmosphere.
You responded to my poetry
with your own, but broadened it
with music by sharing your favorites,
reflecting the moon and sun back to me.

You may have to coax me
onto the dance floor,
but our song will always be
When the Day Met the Night,
by Panic! At the Disco.
Music continues to be
one of our strongest connections.


This is my response to Poetics: Let music speak, the prompt from Punam at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is write a poem about music that uses two titles from a list of songs from Linda Perry’s albums. I have used “Edge of Your Atmosphere” and “Secret Lover.”

Shared with Day Twenty-six at (off prompt)

Divine Intervention ~ ekphrastic poem

Divine Intervention

There is just one hell,
but everyone has their own
little pocket, right below
the surface for some,
so deep for others
they can pretend it’s not there
while it waits to surface
given the opportunity.

We may wish to never see it,
but some wallow in theirs,
divine intervention
the farthest thing from their minds.


“Divine Intervention” by Patty Gaffke ~ oil on canvas
on display at Gumbo Bottoms Ale House, Jefferson City, MO

Shared with Day Twenty-five at (off prompt)